Ethiopian wins second Mandela Marathon

2013-08-26 00:00

ETHIOPIAN Getachew Bekele won the second Mandela Marathon yesterday ahead of over 2 100 runners over the gruelling course from Edendale to the capture site at Howick.

It was Western Province’s Sityhilo Diko who led the field up the mighty “Struggle Hill” to pass through the first hot spot at 14 km in 51 minutes and 33 seconds, collecting a R10 000 bonus.

As Diko relaxed to recover, Zimbabwean Kudakwashe Kanduna took over the reins and hurtled through halfway in 1:16:54, only a few seconds ahead of the lead group.

Henry Kipsang then took the lead as the field passed Cedara, climbed through Merrivale and headed to the Howick stadium. The Kenyan was unable to maintain the pace as they headed towards Midmar Dam, allowing Bekele and David Rasefeko, who had been happy to stay in the group, to take control.

In almost ideal running conditions, it was Bekele who led the race up the final 300 m past the sculpture of Madiba to the finish line in 2:29:48, missing the record set last year by Brighten Chipere by over a minute.

Nedbank’s Rasefeko was second in 2:30:50 and Sikhumbuzo Seme another 150 metres adrift.

Nedbank’s Mosounyana Marapall had one of the best paced runs, moving through from the top 20 at the top of Struggle Hill to 10th by halfway and fourth at the finish, while gutsy running by Diko saw him regain his rhythm to move back up the field to fifth in 2:32:30.

Magama Ngcobo, running in the colours of Chesterville, earned the first women’s hotspot on the climb to Mtolo’s Butchery by breaking free of Transnet’s Catherine Skosana to record 1:01:18 for 14 km.

Skosana then tried to stamp her authority in the race and led through halfway in 1:32:11 with over 80 seconds in hand over Ngcobo.

The Transnet athlete seemed to have it in the bag until the final 10 km where Zimbabwean sisters Chiyedza and Lizih Chokore, who had been content to languish over three minutes off the pace at halfway, made their move and chased Skosana down to take the lead close to the Midmar Dam.

It was Chiyedza who proved to be the stronger with a consistent climb up to Howick junction. The Maxed Elite athlete broke the tape in 3:06:20 to set a new course record, with Lizih trailing by 250 metres.

Skosana was just over three minutes adrift when she crossed the line in third.

It was drama to the very end for Patience Khumalo, who collapsed metres before the finish. As a fellow runner attempted to assist her, officials insisted that she complete the course under her own steam and the Tswane University of Technology student crawled over the line in 3:12:57 for seventh position.

MANDELA MARATHON RESULTS

1. Getachew Bekele 2:29:48,

2. David Rasefako 2:30:50,

3. Sikhumbuzo Seme 2:31:25,

4. Mosounyana Marapall 2:32:13

5. Sityhilo Diko Nedbank 2:32:30

WOMEN

1. Chiyedza Chokore 3:06:20 (new course record)

2. Lizih Chokore 3:08:29

3. Catherine Skosana 3:09:38

4. Winnile Mnisi 3:11:53

5. Cary Ann Smith 3:12:21

MEN’S 10KM

1. Thobani Chagwe 31:02

WOMEN’S 10KM

1. Peres Kepchirchir 35:06.

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